One woman's ale journey

A beery boozy journey with delightful snacks along the way and a book in my hand.

Monday 31 May 2021

Kasteel Tripel

This stonking 11% Belgian tripel pours a sunshiney golden yellow with a tight, off-white head.  The head is amazing; it actually looks like frogspawn as perfectly formed, distinctly separate little bubbles cling to each other.  I have to share a close up photo just to show what I mean.

It has a lovely hoppy aroma with a hint of sweet fruit, including citrus and banana.  The flavour is equally impressive with the expected tripel taste of tangy, sour hops but with the addition of zingy, fruit bursts that give a sweet edge to the sourness and a maltiness that lingers on the palate.  It has a medium body with good carbonation.

You can definitely taste that this has a high ABV but I couldn't really detect any hints of raw alcohol that sometimes overpower strong ales.  Let's face it, the Belgian's know how to brew decent beer so it's no surprise that I'm saying 'Ale Be Seeing You' again to Kasteel Tripel.

Brewed by Kasteel Brouwerij Vanhonsebrouck, Belgium
11% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5

Monday 24 May 2021

Birra del Borgo Maledetta

Maledetta is an amber coloured Belgian style ale in a cute funky shaped bottle.  Of course, it may look good on the outside but it's what's inside that counts.

It pours a deep amber with an orange hue and a slight haze as it's bottle conditioned.  I thought at first that I wasn't going to get any head at all but then all of a sudden it appeared with a vengeance and gave me a good layer of thick, tight and cream coloured bubbles.

The aroma of toffee and citrus is mouthwatering and the taste is even better.  With a slight hint of honey to start, it passes through flavours of caramel and malt to finish with a burst of slightly sour and tangy orange citrus.  It has a medium body and relatively soft carbonation that tickles across the tongue to really get your taste buds going.

I've been really impressed with the Birra del Borgo ales and Maledetta is another one where I can definitely say: 'Ale Be Seeing You again!'.

Brewed by Birra del Borgo, Italy 
6.2% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4/5

Monday 17 May 2021

Hawkshead Lakeland Gold

Hawkshead have brewed the most perfect looking golden ale in Lakeland Gold.  It's a deep golden colour with a small but loose thin head that does leave a bit of lacing, even though there's not much of it.  It requires a careful pour as there is a bit of sediment in the bottle and I like to keep my beer as clear as I can.

Oh it smells so good with an aroma of hops, malt, some fruitiness and a slight floral hint.  It tastes pretty good too with a smooth, sublime taste of toffee and malt followed by an ever so slight lemon citrus bitter aftertaste.

It's perfectly carbonated to give a hint of fizz without too much gas and it has a good medium body, giving it a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel.

Lakeland Gold is a delicious golden ale with a lovely bitter finish and Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Hawkshead Brewery, Cumbria
4.4% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.25/5

Monday 10 May 2021

McGrath's Craft Irish Amber No. 5

I know you often get what you pay for but now and again a little gem comes along at a bargain price and McGrath's Craft Irish Amber No.5 certainly fits the bill.  At only 79p from B&M Bargains, this is one beer I wish I'd stocked up on but of course there were none left when I went back for more.

It pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown colour with a small, loose beige head that disappears rapidly to  leave a thin, patchy layer with a little lacing.  The aroma is floral, fruity and hoppy with a hint of caramel and malt.  I was surprised to find the notes in the aroma to be turned on their head in the amazing taste; it's so incredibly malty with big dollops of treacle and caramel followed by a slightly bitter citrus finish and a lingering sweetness on the lips.  

It's very fizzy and quite harshly carbonated but mouthfeel is softened by the caramel and citrus notes that seem to glide across the tongue in their own bittersweet symphony.  With a decent medium body, it's a very dry and refreshing ale.

I do hope McGrath's brew more of these as Ale definitely Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Clanconnel Brewing Company, Northern Ireland
5.2% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.25/5

Monday 3 May 2021

Leffe Ruby

I love the packaging of the 750ml bottles from Leffe: this wine bottle sized beer looks perfect for a special occasion with a champagne-like cork and wire trapper hidden under the foil.  I opened my bottle at Christmas to discover the most beautiful jewelled ruby red ale inside.  It has a cute baby pink frothy head that's reasonably loose.

It has an incredibly fruity aroma of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blueberries that transfers to the taste along with a hint of Parma violets.  With a slightly sour hint and a very fizzy mouthfeel, it reminds me of cherryade and it does feel like more of an alcopop than a beer.  I also picked up a floral aftertaste that seemed a bit out of place.

A light and refreshing ale that was very easy to drink, perhaps a little too easy as it is very much like a bottle of pop.  It's definitely not a traditional ruby ale (which is my favourite style of beer), so I was left feeling a little disappointed.  It's not a Leffe beer Ale Be Seeing again but I'm sure it will hit the spot for those who love fruity ales and sours.

Brewed by Leffe, Belgium
5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.5/5